Perforator, London, England, 1851-1900

1851-1900 in Smithfield

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Perforator, Smellie, steel, by Arnold of Smithfield, second half 19th century

A perforator was a destructive tool used to pierce the skull of a dead foetus. This was done to remove the foetus from the womb in pieces to save the mother's life. This example was designed by Scottish surgeon William Smellie (1697-1763). Smellie was the wealthiest and most influential man-midwife of his generation. He designed and adapted obstetric instruments. He also wrote a bestselling practical midwifery handbook. This perforator was made in Smithfield in the City of London by surgical instrument makers Arnold and Son.

Related people


Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
obstetrical perforator

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